Tuesday, July 22, 2008

True liberals

The House of Representatives is truly the most Democratic of all the parts of our government. As a group, they regularly face the voters every 2 years, and are subject to the whims of a fickle electorate.
From 1954 - 1994 Democrats controlled the House of Representatives. An amazing feat.
To do this, Democrats had a wide variety of "types" in their caucus. Ranging from southern white conservatives (who were often either racists or catered to racists), to black democrats, to northern liberals, to western democrats, etc.
Think of all the changes that occurred within and to America through that time, that our party was able to deal with while being in the majority.
Right now, the Democratic Party has a historic opportunity to establish a permanent majority. It is mostly because the Republicans are in such dis-array and disfavor with the American people; especially their own base.
Remember a few years ago, the Republicans had their chance to establish a permanent majority and wound up being on the brink of irrelevance in this election season.
The key for Democrats is to be TRUE LIBERALS!
That means to me and in the classical sense: Open-minded on various issues.
It is a willingness to submit to facts, logic, and ultimately overcoming personal preferences for the good of the nation.
On a long list of issues, Democrats are declining to seriously look at other solutions or ideas that could help America. It's not that the Democratic party viewpoint is wrong, it is that so many in the party consider an opposing viewpoint as EVIL, bigoted, UNAMERICAN.
On every serious issue there is almost always a legitimate view on the other side. When you deny, demonize, and won't accept their legitimacy you are sowing the seeds of your destruction.
Even if you win the issue, you lose the moral high ground, you lose the respect of your opponents, and create a negative environment.
Wheras if you allow a free-flowing discussion, exchange ideas, prove your viewpoint is better, while accepting parts of the other side that strengthen your point of view, you then offer yourself an ability to not only get an issue more correct, but the good will of your opponent.
My advice to those here is to start being more liberal in your thinking. Allow that those who disagree with you aren't evil, maybe they are misinformed, maybe they are ignornant, maybe they are wrong. But assume they are good and try to convince them with facts. If you can't, then maybe they are the one's right.
Right now there are many issues where Dems are truly a liberal party and are searching for the best possible solutions:
tradeenvironmental regulationissues concerning the militaryscientific advancements (like stem cells)Supreme Court nominationsgunseducation (except vouchers)taxes
What I'm saying about the above is that Democrats have debated these issues and if they come down on one particular side the other side is not castigated as evil or worse.
Here is a list of issues where I think Dems should start being more liberal in their approach:
abortiongay rightsschool vouchersaffirmative actionUnionsoil drilling/nuclear power
For the record I'm not just listing issues where I disagree with my party in the second group, for example, I support abortion rights, I support affirmative action, and in general support strong unions. But I do so after careful analysis and realize their are "costs" to my positions, and good arguments for the other side. There are those who are just blindly advocating positions without trying to work together.
We have some people on our side who are more comfortable complaining and protesting than being a responsible majority.
These same people thought there wasn't a big enough difference between Gore and Bush, so now we have Bush, and they talk about what a disaster he is. They either didn't vote for Gore, voted for Nader, or were so uninterested in Gore that it helped Bush in 2000. Look what we've been fighting for 8 years because of that attitude. Look at the world we have to fix because of that election. Yet, they are at it again, here on mydd and elsewhere.
We need more people with mainstream sensibilities to become more vocal.
Democrats need to truly be liberal.

Craig Farmer
making the word "liberal" safe again!

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